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Penguins Report: 12/30/11

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

  • MacIntyre is January Mustache Boy (12:02 PM).
  • Full details on Mustache Boy (4:35 PM).
  • Updates on Park & Martin (12:53 PM).
  • Pens lines (11:24 AM).
  • Practice players (11:21 AM).
  • Williams & Picard go back to WBS (11:10 AM).
  • WJC is important for player development (5:05 PM).
  • Pens prospect Harrington a beast (10:42 AM).
  • Coach Bylsma on Engo, NJ & more (2:55 PM).
  • Engelland talks about coming back (2:58 PM).
  • Pens pics (3:10 PM).
  • I love Zooey Deschanel (10:00 AM).

5:05 PM:
As you all know, the World Junior Championships are underway in Alberta. The tournament is big for the development of NHL prospects. The Pens have many players taking part and assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald talked about the impact of the WJC on the players.

4:35 PM:
Here is the full scoop on MacIntyre's Mustache Boy crowning.

3:24 PM:
Don't forget to tune in to the NHL Network at 3:30pm for the USA-Czech game. Red, White & Blue comin' at you!!

3:10 PM:
Practice pics...

Video expert Mark Cottington places a special camera behind Fleury for some beauty shots while I hold the ladder #ManualLabor (left); The camera of mention (right)

Park eyes up his target (left); Neal & Niskanen discuss their New Year's resolution (right)

Players gather to hear coach Bylsma speak (left); Duper with a wicked smart slap shot (right)

Malkin is from Russia...with Love (left); Katie, Jill, Bella & Jenna show some love to @PensInsideScoop #ThanksLadies #BestFansEver #HashTagsAreCool -SK (right)

2:58 PM:
Deryk Engelland talks about returning from his suspension and winning before the break...

On playing after his suspension:
I got suspended for a hit, but that's huge part of my game. I've got play physical net presence. Being on the ice and being physical creates a little bit of room and that's how I've got to play.

On last night's game against the Flyers:
I think we had a good start, but we had a few penalties that took away from our game and gave them momentum. We couldn't get it back going until the third. By then you're limiting your time a opportunities to get back in the game.

On how important it is to win going into the break:
It's huge, especially going into the break. It makes the break a lot better. Losing against Philly, hopefully you don't want to do that. It's a huge four-point game, but you have to put that in the past and worry about New Jersey.

Thank you: Kaitlin Zurawsky

2:55 PM:
Coach Bylsma said that Fleury will start in net against New Jersey. Here are some of his other comments...

On Deryk Engellend:
He's a physical presence, he's shown that. He's a tough guy to play against. He’s demanding on other team's players and skill players, he's shown that as well. In addition to that, on the power play he's excellent. Defending wise he's really been good for us this year in some of the circumstances we've had this year with the injuries. He's a guy who you miss in a game like last night, but will get him back and he'll probably be on the ice for us tomorrow.

On if he pays attention the Penguins' record against the teams in the East or just the standings overall:
Clearly I look at both. We have 21 wins. There's a lot of games that we've played pretty good against pretty good teams in the NHL, but we also haven't fared well against Philly and in our one game against Boston was not particularly good as well. You have to be aware of that situation. These are teams that we have to beat, teams that we have to go through. We want to be at the top of the division and the only way to do that is to beat good teams which is Philly and the Rangers will be coming up here and we haven't done that yet. You look at that. We know where we want to go. We know where we want to be and we have to beat those teams. We look at that and we know how important those are.

On playing against New Jersey:
New Jersey is a team that's playing pretty well right now. I think that they've gotten a little healthier now that (Travis) Zajac is back and runs up their third line. Their second line could have had five or six goals in their last game. (Petr) Sykora could have had five goals himself playing really well with (Patrik) Elias and (Ilya) Kovalchuk. His line with (Zach) Parise is playing really well now. They're winning some hockey games. Their power play is really dynamic. They must have shot the puck through the boards about 10 times last game with the way they set up the power play and Kurtis Foster reacts to that as well. We know we are playing a team that's playing really well, but I think at this point they are five points behind us in the standings. It's a big game and it is kind of an end game before that break. We've won four-five, but we want it to be five-six going into the new year.

On his New Year's resolution:
I'm not a big fan of New Years to be honest, so I don't necessarily make my resolutions on the 1st. I have things in my life and goals, but they don't necessarily start the first of January. I think I'm always on a diet. I don't have any brand new ones that are going to start the first.

Assist: Kaitlin Zurawsky

12:53 PM:
Head coach Dan Bylsma said that Richard Park will not be with the team when they go to New Jersey. He did add that Paul Martin will be with the team, but is unlikely to play.

12:02 PM:
Your January Mustache Boy is.....


11:24 AM:
Pens lines at practice...



11:21 AM:
Pens are on the ice for practice. Everyone that played in last night's game are on the ice, as well as Engelland, Park and MacIntyre.

11:10 AM:
The Pens announced that Williams & Picard have been sent back to WBS.

10:42 AM:

Pens defensive prospect Scott Harrington exploded for 4 points (1G-3A) for Team Canada in the country's 10-2 triumph over Denmark in the World Junior Championships Thursday night.

Harrington was Pittsburgh's 2nd-round pick (54th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft. His four points in the game tied a team record for most points by a defenseman in a World Junior Championship contest.
"That's pretty funny because that's not the type of defenseman that I am," Harrington told "But I guess I'm in good company now so I'll take it, but I'm looking forward to the next game. We had all four lines rolling and the defense going so that's the type of game you want leading up to an important game (against the U.S.)."

More details here.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will face the Czech Republic today at 3:30 p.m., which will be broadcast live on the NHL Network.

In addition to featuring Pittsburgh Penguins 2011 draft pick Josh Archibald, Team USA has a heavy Pittsburgh influence as four players from the Pittsburgh Hornets program -- J.T. Miller, Stephen Johns, Brandon Saad and John Gibson -- all are part of the roster. Pens prospect Dominik Uher will suit up for the Czech Republic.

10:20 AM:
A friendly reminder that today is the RMU Hockey Showcase. A triple-header of college hockey taking place at CONSOL Energy Center today. Stop down if you have some time. Robert Morris will take on No. 4 Ohio State in the night cap at 7:35pm.

More details here.

10:00 AM:
Good afternoon from Southpointe! At the end of today's practice the Pens will hold their monthly "Mustache Boy" shootout!! Current Mustache Boy Matt Cooke will be relieved of his duties and will pass the torch (or lip fur) to another lucky teammate (unless he is stuck again with it).


As today is Dec. 30th, the New Year is nigh. And since tomorrow is an afternoon game, thus there will be no Pens Report, I wanted to use a song today in light of the New Year. Here is a little ditty from "(500) Days of Summer" stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the cutie Zooey Deschanel called "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" Enjoy.

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